May 30, 2007
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A 44-year-old woman who needed an electric oxygen pump to breathe died after an energy company cut the power to her home because of a $122 unpaid bill, her family claimed Wednesday.
Police said they had launched an investigation into Folole Muliaga's death, which happened within two hours of state-owned company Mercury Energy cutting power to her house Tuesday.
Six days before a Mercury Energy representative arrived Tuesday at the house to disconnect the electricity, she was $122 in arrears.
Sheehan said both Muliaga and her son told the technician she was dependent on the oxygen machine to stay alive and invited him into the house to see it. "Then he cut the power off," Sheehan told The Associated Press.
Muliaga began having difficulty breathing, became faint and then collapsed, he said. Paramedics were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead within two hours of the power being cut.
Moulder expressed his "deep condolences" to the family, and said the company was checking reports that it had been warned Muliaga needed power for the oxygen machine.
"We were simply unaware that loss of electricity to the household was putting a vulnerable customer at risk," he said.
"More than one" disconnection notice had been sent to Muliaga's address over a six- to seven-week period, he added.
If she was so dependent upon this machine, why didn't someone pay the bill? Why wasn't keeping her alive the most important priority?
I'm not allowed to go into Banana Republic and demand that they give me clothing or else I will freeze to death in the cold. They would scoff at the idea.
I'm sure that if the electric company were aware of the situation, they might have responded differently. Electric companies get all kinds of crazy excuses from customers about why their power should not be cut off and electric companies are also full of bureaucracy, so it is very likely that this excuse was lost amid all that fuss.
But it doesn't matter. You're not allowed to hold the company hostage, refusing to pay your bill and threatening the company with your own death if they don't allow you to continue to leech off of them.
Also, why did it take the family so long to get the paramedics there?
Don't get me wrong: this is a terrible loss and it isn't at all satisfying to know that other people are suffering, but they did sort of bring this on themselves. Were it that this family approached the situation by accepting responsibility and acknowledging the causal reality of their decisions, I would probably be more soft-hearted toward them. As it is, they offend me with their protestations and slaver's mentality.
"The correct authority to investigate this and sort out the facts is the police," Mallard said, adding the government would expect "full accountability" if the company was found to be culpable.
The person accountable is the person who didn't pay their electric bill. That person is dead; the accountability for this fiasco would appear to have settled all on its own. That pesky reality.
LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered a pop singer to change his lyrics after a college girl complained that male students teased her by singing the song when she passed by, a court official said on Tuesday.
The court summoned the singer, Abrar-ul-Haq, last week after a girl called Parveen wrote to a newspaper saying she had stopped attending college in the eastern city of Lahore because of the harassment.
"The court has asked Abrar-ul-Haq to omit the name of the girl and some other objectionable words in his lyrics," the court official said.
Haq, a well-known singer of Punjabi bhangra tunes, said he would abide by the court decision.
Lahore is the country's most culturally rich and vibrant city, but while known for its liberals, artists, intellectuals and fun-loving people, it is also home to some of the most conservative sections of Pakistani society.
I love the completely unrelated editorial paragraph at the end.
"Lest you get the wrong impression of Pakistan based on this incident, please note that this city is vibrant and culturally rich. It's full of intellectuals!"
And I'm SO sure that people will immediately forget the lyrics to the song once he changes them.
DENVER - A man with a rare and exceptionally dangerous form of tuberculosis is in quarantine in Atlanta but will soon be moved to Denver.
His case has started an international health scare after he traveled overseas. NBC News tells 9NEWS he is scheduled to be flown to Denver for treatment at National Jewish Respiratory Hospital within the next 48 hours.
The Center for Disease Control is concerned he may have spread the disease as he flew from Atlanta to Paris earlier this month for his honeymoon. The CDC says he knew he was sick before the trip and ignored an order not to travel. Furthermore, a CDC official reached the man by phone in Italy and told him not to take commercial flights, but he flew back to North American anyway, said Dr. Martin Cetron, director of the CDC's division of global migration and quarantine.
Cetron reached the man once he was back in the United States. At that point, he voluntarily went to a New York hospital and was then flown by the CDC to an Atlanta-area hospital. He is not facing prosecution, health officials said. Federal officials declined to release details about him.
Tuberculosis is usually curable but this man is infected with a rare strain of TB called XDR-TB which is extensively drug resistant tuberculosis. A lot of the drugs used to treat the disease do not work.
"If you're resistant to all the drugs, it would be difficult to cure you and therefore highly fatal," said Dr. Charles Daley of National Jewish Hospital.
He knew he was sick and then he went overseas. They called him in Rome, Italy and said, "Dude. Seriously. You're highly contagious with a deadly disease. Do not fly commercial flights and stop trying to infect everyone." And he flies back.
This is criminal behavior and extremely dangerous. I don't know why they aren't prosecuting this fool and don't tell me that his quarantine period counts as jail time.
May 24, 2007
As I was watching this clip, I realized why I don't like The View and it's not just because there isn't a single person on there with whom I agree beyond a single sound clip. Rosie gets on my nerves with her pretentious, Liberal, righteous, conspiracy theories. Elisabeth Hesselbeck always comes off as uninformed, inarticulate and, really, just dumb sometimes.
So, I was kind of tickled to see Elisabeth to go for Rosie's prodigious jugular, but she still didn't get through. Rosie stung her by calling her a coward, but Elisabeth -- like many Republicans -- felt guilty and didn't sting back.
If Rosie said to me, "As my friend, do you think that I believe our troops are terrorists?"
I would probably pause to think about it and not answer right away because I would have to try to figure out what Rosie means by the word "terrorist."
And if she called me out in a conversation like this one for not immediate saying that I don't think that she thinks that, I would just respond with, "Well, Rosie, it's not beyond the realm of possibility. You think all sorts of insane and irrational things. So, if you ask me if I think you think our troops are terrorists, I have to think about it because it's not beyond the realm of possibility. As a friend, you're an idiot and stupid is as stupid does."
May 22, 2007
That's six, so which of those European mammals do you think it will be?
May 17, 2007
And that's why I haven't remarked on this sooner.
May 16, 2007
Could that whole area get any more nuts?
May 08, 2007
LONDON (Reuters) - A British man who went on a wild spending spree after doctors said he only had a short time to live wants compensation because the diagnosis was wrong and he is now healthy -- but broke.
John Brandrick, 62, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago and told that he would probably die within a year.
He quit his job, sold or gave away nearly all his possessions, stopped paying his mortgage and spent his savings dining out and going on holiday.
Brandrick was left with little more than the black suit, white shirt and red tie that he had planned to be buried in when it emerged a year later that his suspected "tumor" was no more than a non-life threatening inflammation of the pancreas.
"When they tell you you've got a limited time and everything, you do enjoy life," Brandrick, from Cornwall in the west of England, told Sky television.
"I'm really pleased that I've got a second chance in life... but if you haven't got no money after all this, which is my fault -- I spent it all -- they should pay something back."
If he can't get compensation, he is considering selling his house or suing the hospital that diagnosed him. The hospital has said that while it sympathizes with Brandrick, a review of his case showed no different diagnosis would have been made.
I understand that it is a very popular to think that if you receive a death sentence like a terminal illness that you should just go bonkers and spend all your money and act like a lunatic, but I disagree with that.
First of all, it strikes me as giving up. I'm a person who doesn't want to die. I want all extraordinary measures taken to keep me alive. If I make enough money, I may even pay to have my body put into cryogenic storage in hopes that I might be revived one day. (That might be a horrible plan. I don't know. I haven't really looked into it.) Just trust me when I say this: I DO NOT WANT TO DIE.
Some people say that this is a fear of death and I can't really disagree except to say that this is not at this early point in my life a notion held out of emotionalism. I don't sit around being terrified of dying. I don't not do things because I think they might kill me. But my own non-existence is perhaps the worst idea I've ever heard and I am opposed to it with the whole of my being. LITERALLY.
I realize there are cases when someone is just going to die and there is no doubt about that, but I still think decision-making should display a bit more foresight. And even if you choose not to do that, you can't hold anyone else responsible for failing to be omniscient or infallible. If you think that it's even possible for people to be omniscient, then why aren't you like that and why did you make those foolish decisions?
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